In 2009, I published Culture of Honor. The central question I tried to answer in that book was this: “What is the relational culture of heaven, and how does it happen ‘on earth as it is in heaven’—especially in the church?” I have spent the last eight years traveling, speaking, and engaging with people all over the world who are hungry to learn what honor is and how to build honoring relational culture—not only in their churches, but also in their homes, businesses, organizations, schools, and communities.
One of the most common questions I have heard since Culture of Honor came out is this: “When are you going to write a book about how to build a culture of honor in business?” I have always responded, “I’m not a business guy. When I meet someone who knows how to do this in business, I’ll let them write that book.”
Enter Bob Hasson
Don’t get me wrong—I have met and befriended many businesspeople over the years who are godly and honoring. But when Bob Hasson and I connected in 2013, something clicked. Few people have become part of my life and family as quickly as Bob has. I can only call our friendship a “God thing.” We’ve traveled to Europe, Asia, North and Central America together, ministered together, and our families have even gone on vacation together. In the process, Bob and I have shared an ongoing conversation about honoring relationships, leadership culture, business, and life that has both challenged and enriched us.
Bob is the owner of a commercial painting subcontracting company based in San Diego, CA. When he introduces himself in a ministry setting, he usually says something unassuming like, “I’m a painter.” Then I have to get up and explain that his company paints things like Los Angeles International Airport and Stanford University. Bob and his team have put the finishing touches on hospitals, hotels, high rises, and municipal buildings all over the Western United States. I’ve had the privilege of hearing many stories about how Bob built his company, navigated obstacle after obstacle along the way, and continues to lead a team of loyal employees who are all committed to serving each other and their customers with honor and excellence. I’ve also witnessed firsthand the way that Bob balances his professional life with being present for his family and active as a leader, consultant, and friend. I’ve come to know him as a humble and generous man who deeply loves God and loves people.
All of this convinced me that Bob was the one to write a book on honor in business. He is living it. It took me a while to convince him that I was right about that, but eventually he decided to trust me and go for it. I’m thrilled to announce that The Business of Honor will be released in early December 2017.
Honor and the Father’s Heart
In the course of developing this book with Bob, I’ve been encouraged to read voices from the wider cultural conversation calling for a shift toward establishing greater honor (though they may not use that term) in work culture. Authors like Simon Sinek, Brené Brown, Daniel Pink, Dale Partridge, and many others are drawing attention to many of the toxic aspects of business culture, especially in corporations that abide by the operating principle of “profit first and people second.” The culture of large corporate settings is generally one of high anxiety, high competition, and survival of the fittest. The larger the business, the more intense the corporate culture, and the less honor stays involved.
The Business of Honor addresses the same problem, but from a much more “up close and personal” position. Bob and I agreed at the beginning of this project that in order to see honor established in business leadership and culture, we had to go after the heart. Honor begins in the heart—with the core beliefs that define our identity and values. Therefore, this book is not primarily about the list of things we need to do to be more honoring, but about the heart and identity story we need to be living from to produce the fruit of honoring behavior.
Our hope is that readers of this book will have a heart realignment with who they are as sons and daughters of a loving Father. This relational identity is the foundation of honor. Learning to see ourselves through the Father’s eyes and receive His love enables us to see others from the same perspective. It shifts our internal motivation from fear and self-protection to love and self-giving, which is the heartbeat of healthy relationships and teams.
Ultimately, honor is all about stewarding relationships well—and business is all about relationships. Investing in building an honoring relational culture in business is not a competitive liability, but a competitive edge. Bob and I do our best to lay out the pillars of this culture, describe how we have worked to implement them as leaders, and share the results we have seen. In the process, we do our best to answer the common questions that we hear around the topics of honor and business, such as:
- Why are so many business environments anxiety-driven?
- Why do team members struggle to understand each other and function as a connected unit?
- Why is it that so many people who call themselves Christians act inconsistently with their stated values and justify leading in dishonor?
- What gives honoring people an edge in business?
- What happens when people thrive in a business culture of honor, love and safety?
The number-one priority in a culture of honor—in business and in life—is to know the Father and show the Father. This was Jesus’ number-one mission. He told His disciples, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). When I look at much of business culture today, I keep coming back to this conviction that what is missing is the Father’s heart. My prayer is that this book would equip people to start conversations about business with this missing piece in mind. How would we approach our productivity and performance culture differently if we were carrying more of His heart? How would it change the way members of different generations work together? How would it shape hiring and firing decisions? How would it influence the way we invest our profits? I think many things could change for the better if we—especially leaders—start thinking this way.
Bob and I dream of seeing a generation of leaders in business who carry the Father’s heart. We can’t wait for you to read The Business of Honor, join the conversation, and join us in this purpose.